Powerful earthquake strikes off Solomon Islands

2011-04-23 09:12

Wellington, New Zealand – A powerful earthquake struck in waters off the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific on Saturday, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, and no tsunami was expected.

The magnitude-6.9 quake struck about 160km southeast of the Solomon Islands’ capital, Honiara, at a depth of 80km, the US Geological Survey said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a tsunami was not expected.

“We haven’t had any information about damage or anything of that kind,” National Disaster Management Office director Lote Yates told The Associated Press from Honiara.

The quake was felt widely in the capital and “was quite scary”, Yates said. “It went on for a minute or two.

It was not a one-off jolt – this one went on and on. It seemed forever.”

The Solomon Islands is a country of nearly 1?000 islands that lie on the “Ring of Fire” – an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones that stretches around the Pacific Rim.

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